Half Life: Alyx is on the way, and it’s maybe time to accept that virtual reality will be a part of how we approach games going forward. But VR isn’t just useful for fighting Combine soldiers; it can be very relaxing. Which is exactly why a Russian farm strapped VR headsets to its cows.
According to the BBC, Moscow’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food announced that a farm in the Ramensky district experimented with VR headsets with the aims of relaxing their cow herd and producing a greater yield of milk. RusMoloko farm strapped headsets to the cows that showed a simulation of a summer field.
Did it work? Well, maybe. The cows were apparently soothed in spite of the fact that they had strange goggles strapped to their face. If that helps with the milk yield, maybe the strangeness will have paid off.
That said: I have a bird at my flat that sometimes squawks loudly. When that happens, we play some classical music for it. We don’t build a tiny VR headset to soothe it with natural sights and sounds. I’m all for science but if the cows are that anxious maybe we can just play them some Chopin next time.